I followed the nice tutorial from https://askubuntu.com/questions/575523/how-to-setup-virtual-users-for-vsftpd-with-access-to-a-specific-sub-directory

Now If I understood I have 2 things:

1) one is the only user called vsftpd that acts as dedicated-user for the vsftpd service

2) is the capability of creating users specific configurations under the /etc/vsftpd_user_conf/ folder

so I can have a /etc/vsftpd_user_conf/user1 file maybe filled with:


a /etc/vsftpd_user_conf/user2 with specific


and so on..

With this setup I can set the main or the sub_folders inside their roots and make them writable by assigning or not the chmod vsftpd:nogroup and the common 777, 775 or 664 common attributes.

But I would like to create a more complex setup.

I would like to create a folder:




In order to make them accessible and writable I will have to

chmod vsftpd:nogroup /var/ftp_users/boss
chmod vsftpd:nogroup /var/ftp_users/employee1
chmod vsftpd:nogroup /var/ftp_users/employee2

and also set their local root as follows:

/etc/vsftpd_user_conf/employee1 with local_root=/var/ftp_users/employee1
/etc/vsftpd_user_conf/employee2 with local_root=/var/ftp_users/employee2
/etc/vsftpd_user_conf/employee3 with local_root=/var/ftp_users/employee3

The problem is that BOSS asked me to:

  • being able to read everyone folders so that he can see what other users are doing. My idea was to put his local_root=/var/ftp_users

  • BUT -- I want that boss to be able to write/modify only /var/ftp_users/boss and not everyone other folders, create new ones or delete the ones he found inside !

How is it possible in this setup so that user boss has local_root=/var/ftp_users BUT its write access is only limited to /var/ftp_users/boss ?

I also considered manually create symlinks inside

ln /var/ftp_users/employee1 /var/ftp_users/boss/employee1


chmod -h 0444 /var/ftp_users/boss/employee1

but this way is not working properly.

I'm used to the Windows permissions or the directives you can specify inside Apache, nginx and so on, so I'm a bit lost with vsftpd config. Under normal circumstances I would have set the /var/ftp_users/ root non writable and only the /var/ftp_users/boss folder writable.

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